Monday Musings: Hard Work Leads to Great Rewards

My diploma came in the mail this weekend! The photo behind me is of my father’s hands planting rosemary. I had it turned into metal artwork & placed it on the side of my house across from my food garden. My father epitomized hard work. It was his hard work & sacrifice that propelled me to become Dr. Barnes.

I would also like to thank my children for their patience and understanding. They were born during my master’s degree program, and they lived through all the ups and down of having a mom in college. My twin sons were born in 2011. I have been in school during the following years of their lives: 2011, 2012, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023. Most of their lives, I have been in school.

I met Mr. Barnes in college, so he has been along for ride too including when I earned five licenses over the years.

Right now, I trying to learn without paying tuition. I don’t have ANY college debt despite earning three degrees. That blessing isn’t lost on me. It does mean that I have chosen to invest more in education than entertainment. So no, I couldn’t see my fellow Virgo Beyoncé or participate in other activities because I don’t live on credit cards; I live on hard work. I worked as many jobs as necessary to pay my way for the master’s and doctoral degrees. My dad worked seven days a week during my childhood plus many holidays. He also took the payout of his unused vacation days each year to ensure my sisters and I would have no college debt.

If you wonder where my fire comes from to sacrifice and work hard, it’s from my Daddy James Albert Stockton.

My advice to you all is this: Do the work! Work when it’s easy. Work when it’s hard. Work when you want to quit. Work when you don’t think you will succeed. Work when they talk about you. Work when they praise you. Work until you reach, achieve, and conquer your goals. And as you work, strive for excellence.

That is my way of being. I don’t know how else to be nor do I want to be any other way.

I have two sons who are going to shatter any achievements or records I have set. They will set this world on fire in ways you can’t even imagine yet. The least I can do is work hard and become the hands that guide and push them forward.

Never forget the hands that labored in the past so you could become who you are today. When it is your time to be the hands, please guide and support someone else.

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